This article is an extract from
THE TRIBES and CASTES of BENGAL.
Printed at the Bengal Secretariat Press.
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Anguwear', a cultivat¬ing caste found in the Tributary Mahals of Chota N agpur. They claim to be the descendants of certain Kshatriya immigrants from the neighbourhood of Agra, who put off the saored thread when they settled in a new country and took to holding the plough. Dalton describes them as tall and well-made, with high Aryan features and tawny complexions. P.:garias betroth thell' daughters as infants, but do not marry them until they are full-grown.
They allow widows to marry again. The caste employ Brahmans from the North-West Provinces, and will not accept the services of the U~kal Brahmans, who ordi¬narily serve as priests in the Southern Tributary Mahals. In one point thAy depart remarkably from orthodox Hindu practice: they bury their dead, and, after the bones have got dry, dig up the skull and the chief joints and con vey them to the Ganges. This may perhaps be thought to suggest a connexion with some religious sect.
In Gangpur, where everyone believes in witchcraft, .Agaria. women are supposed to be the most potent witches in the country.
The following statement shows the number and distribution of .Agarias in 1872 and 1881 :¬
DISTRICT. 1 72. 1881.
Hazaribagh ... 1,966 1,146 Lohardaga ... 1,678 66 Singbhllm 7 Manbhum 885 Tributary States ... 3,448 6,278